Outside Lands Kicks Off Today!

Summertime is festival time, there’s no two ways about it. Music festivals, food festivals, wine festivals, art festivals; basically come up with any reason to gather a community of people outdoors and you’ve got yourself a festival.

The secret to success lies in either A. being in a unique location (Govenor’s Island, Telluride CO), B. serving a unique community (Burning Man), C. having a stellar line-up (fill in the blank) or D. fusing various types of festivals into one big affair (Googa Mooga, anyone?). A festival that satisfies all of these criteria?  Outside Lands, my friends.

Only in its fifth year, this celebrated festival is taking over Golden Gate Park in San Francisco from August 10th to the 12th. Being that it’s San Francisco, the festival encourages sharing rides, refilling water bottles and volunteering to help clean up the park during the off hours.  Beyond that, it’s the place to be to grab some of the best food the Bay Area has to offer (plenty of tacos and empanadas plus BBQ, curries and, of course, vegetarian delights). In addition, there’s also a respectable focus on wine and beer (appropriately designated as Wine Lands and Beer Lands) and an impressive line-up of comedians (David Cross, Reggie Watts), DJs, visual art and even panel discussions with the musicians. Yes, let’s not forget the musicians. With over 50 bands rotating across 4 stages for 10 hours a day, there’s absolutely something for everyone…

<< preview some highlights >>

Alabama Shakes Shook The Studio at Webster Hall

Let me tell you why Alabama Shakes rocks.  It’s their conviction; the abandon with which Brittany Howard sings; the heart and soul they put into every guitar lick, drum beat and chord ringing out from the keyboard.  It’s the way they play their version of good old rock and roll like it’s never been heard before.

As an addendum to their New York tour dates, the band played a hard and fast set at the Studio at Webster Hall on Tuesday night; no opening act, just straight to the point.  The crowd broke out into the typical applause as the five young musicians took the stage, with a noticeable increase in zeal as Howard stepped forward.

“Ya’ll want to rock and roll?” Howard called out to the room packed with starry-eyed faces, “’Cause that’s what I’m into.”

<< keep reading here… >>